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School-life balance is key, say Geraldton’s top ATAR achievers

Edward ScownGeraldton Guardian
Julia Teakle (97.10), Kiona Fry (96.10) and Connie Greeve (98.95) are looking forward to starting university next year.
Camera IconJulia Teakle (97.10), Kiona Fry (96.10) and Connie Greeve (98.95) are looking forward to starting university next year. Credit: Edward Scown

After years of study, four Geraldton girls have emerged among the State’s best and brightest after Year 12 students received their exam results.

Geraldton Grammar School’s Connie Greeve (98.95) and Tahnee Gronow (97.50), Nagle Catholic College’s Julia Teakle (97.10), and Kiona Fry (96.10) from Champion Bay Senior High School, are among the top 4 per cent of 10,572 WA Year 12 students who achieved an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank this year.

They said the key to success was a healthy school-life balance.

“Don’t put pressure on yourself,” Julia said.

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“Year 12 is meant to be the most fun year of your life. Don’t stress, that was my biggest regret, just putting way too much stress on.”

While they all studied hard in the lead up to exams, it was just as important to them to keep up with their hobbies outside their hectic school schedules.

Julia said taking regular “brain breaks” at the beach helped her stay focused, while Kiona is an avid trombonist and singer, and was the captain of her school band.

“I found the best way to study for my exams was doing practice exams, especially for the sciences and math,” Kiona said.

Connie Greeve achieved the highest ATAR in the Mid West this year with a 98.95, and plans to study a masters degree in physics.
Camera IconConnie Greeve achieved the highest ATAR in the Mid West this year with a 98.95, and plans to study a masters degree in physics. Credit: Edward Scown

The girls’ results not only earned them a Certificate of Distinction, but also their pick of the most competitive university courses.

Connie, who achieved the highest ATAR in the Mid West, said she planned to study physics at the University of WA. Kiona has her sights set on a degree in biomedical engineering, while Julia is still undecided.

Tahnee — second in the Mid West only to her classmate Connie — was straight out to her family farm after exams, doing her part for the region’s record harvest.

Other local high achievers included Will Cachard of Nagle Catholic College, who was awarded a Subject Certificate of Excellence for mathematics applications, and Rose Adamson of Geraldton Grammar, who received a Certificate of Distinction.

ATAR is based on a students best four subjects, giving them a rank among all other Year 12 students in the State.

Terry Bhatti, acting executive officer of the Tertiary Institutions Service Centre explained: “An ATAR of 75 doesn’t mean that you have averaged 75 per cent in your subjects. It means that you are in the top 25 per cent of your age cohort in WA this year.”

Fifteen WA students achieved the perfect score of 99.95 this year, while the median rank was 82.30.

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